It’s up to you to choose from the various options about your health and life, including what your wishes are and how you make your wishes known when you can no longer speak for yourself.
It can be up to you to choose in advance…life, death, incapacitation. Will you choose and set out your wishes or will you put it off and leave it to chance?
There are some really motivating reasons for having a medical directive, including:
- Reduce the risk of family conflicts and resentment;
- Assurance that your wishes will be respected and fulfilled;
- So your medical instructions (like heroic measures) are crystal clear to eliminate ambiguity;
- Your advocate will be agreeable, aware, and willing to fulfill your directions while you are incapacitated.
Each province and territory has its own laws so your specific medical directives may have to vary if you were to move. In order to learn about your options you’ll need to see your lawyer for opinions and recommendations.
It is wise to check your medical directive as well as any other critical documents with a lawyer if you change your jurisdiction of residence. And it may be necessary to reconsider who will be your advocate if you relocate. A friend in Halifax won’t be that helpful if you are living in Alberta. Even the miles between Yarmouth, Halifax, Moncton or Charlottetown can be problematic.
Currently, there is no law allowing a medical directive in New Brunswick or any of the territories. There is also no law with a list of substitute advocates in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, nor the territories. Please check with your legal counsel to confirm any related subject matter and what current laws in your jurisdiction.
Finally, issues that relate to continued health care when your are no longer able to make those decisions fall under the responsibilities of a Power of Attorney.
Please Note: No claim is made or implied that any advice given here is any more than advice. When investigating or creating any legal document you should always secure the services of a Lawyer in good standing with expertise in your field of inquiry.